REELpoetry, Houston, 24-28 February. Online this year, REELpoetry was a wonderful event. At https://www.publicpoetry.net and directed by Fran Sanders the festival was available to view from all time zones. I was lucky enough to work with Mary McDonald on a project for the festival where we helped selected poets make poetry films from pre-chosen films and soundscapes. Fran also invited Mary and I to judge the competition entries with her, and it was a difficult choice but the results were as follows:
The judges’ prize went to “The '90s” by poet Kathleen Flenniken and filmmaker Elizabeth Flenniken. The poem is from "Post Romantic: Poems” by Kathleen Flenniken.
The audience award went to “#BlackLivesMatter” by Ijeoma "E&J" Eke.
The deconstructed film winner is “A Moving Portrait” by poet Linda Eve Diamond. The watercolor animation is by Matvey Rezenov, and the music is by simondsouza.
It was a big festival to organise and so well put together by Fran, David and Leila, I was very impressed. It was full to the brim of different events to watch online. Fran asked each of the presenters to give a 15-minute presentation of their work and I chose three very different poetry films: Lockdowning with short one-minute diary footage of the early days of lockdown; Selfie with Marilyn (much said elsewhere, except that the collection the poem is from has now won the PANK Books Prize for Poetry. It will be published on June 1st, Marilyn’s 95th birthday. Huge congratulations to Heidi! And also Tom Konvyes has had some interesting things to say about the film on Liberated Words.com). The final film Firewash is a poem and poetry film about a mediaeval mining ancestor, from my family history project Tree. Firewash, the poem, is in the forthcoming collection Earth Lines by Edinburgh Geological Society. The poem arose from a visit to an old site in Cornwall where my ancestor mined, and which fortuitously is now a farm shepherd's hut retreat. I stayed there during a gale and, aside from factual elements, I cannot really say where much of the poem came from.
I was also interviewed by Dr Meriel Lland on my forthcoming book The Poetics of Poetry Film, and the link for that is here